Princeton University Library Catalog

A Wired Sensing Suite for Data Center Climate Monitoring

O'Shea, Ryan [Browse]
Senior thesis
Wentzlaff, David [Browse]
Verma, Naveen [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Electrical Engineering [Browse]
Class year:
79 pages
Summary note:
This senior thesis builds on the foundations of two previous independent work projects to design, build, test, and deploy a scalable network of temperature sensors for data center environments. There exists a current and accelerating trend of computing workloads migrating from personal devices to cloud-based services. That growth has inspired an expansion of data center facilities across the world, which need to ensure that server hardware is kept cool enough for safe, continuous operation using incredibly sophisticated and expensive cooling systems. Taking a small-scale working prototype, this thesis miniaturized and minimized the cost of its sensing hardware, rewrote its software to ensure long-term stability, and established an architecture enabling the monitoring of an unlimited number of server cabinets across any number of data center facilities. The measurements collected by this system are organized and displayed by a new, powerful web application that allows data center operators to effectively monitor their facilities, providing critical insights about the efficacy of their cooling systems. In total, 500 sensors and peripherals were produced, while a smaller subset were deployed to the Princeton HPCRC data center, where they are actively collecting data for the facility’s managers and our own research purposes. Within the next year, we hope to have our system deployed at full scale across the HPCRC, both to equip those at the facility with a powerful tool for climate monitoring and to provide a large body of high-resolution temperature data for further study.